Development of an Aptamer-Based Assay for Neurotransmitter Quantification - NSCI 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: David Juncker

Supervisor's Email: david.juncker [at]

Supervisor's Phone: 514 398 7676

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: : Biomedical Engineering / Integrated Program In Neuroscience

Course number: NSCI 396 (Neuroscience)

Term: Fall 2015-2016

Project start date: Friday, September 4, 2015

Project end date: Monday, December 7, 2015

Project title: Development of an Aptamer-Based Assay for Neurotransmitter Quantification

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Neurotransmitters play vital roles in the human central nervous system. Given their small size, however, assays for the rapid detection of many neurotransmitters do not exist. Aptamers are an emerging technology for small molecule biosensing, and aptamers coupled with catalase activity offer a novel solution to the quantification of neurotransmitters. For this 3 credit course, the student will be responsible for optimizing the parameters that underlie a catalase-mediated aptamer biosensor based on the plasmonic ELISA, with the end goal being to develop a dopamine-specific assay. The work will include a short literature review, in-lab experimentation to establish optimal assay conditions, and if time permits, quantification of the neurotransmitter dopamine to demonstrate the performance of the sensor platform.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 50% Final Report; 40% Lab Work; 10% Oral Presentation

Other project information: All lab work will be carried out at 740 Dr. Penfield, Room 6500, in the lab of Prof. David Juncker.

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Biohazardous substances; Handling chemicals.